BYD builds on bus order from Bogotá again

The Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer has received another major electric bus order from Colombia. This time, the capital Bogotá wants to expand its electric bus fleet by another 406 battery-electric buses.

++ Kindly see our update below. ++

In 2019, the Colombian capital gave major bus order for BYD, when the city ordered a total of 594 electric buses, with a bid for 470 electric buses going to BYD. The first 120 managed to reach their destination by the end of last year, with 350 electric buses from the order yet to be delivered, scheduled for the first quarter of 2021. However, before this contract was completed, Bogotá decided to go all-in with the new technology and order even more.

Now, BYD has received a major order to deliver a further 406 fully-electric buses from Bogotá. These are expected to be deployed on 15 routes in the city’s Fontibón district before the end of 2021. The buses were put out to tender by Transmilenio, the city’s public transport operator. The contract was awarded to a joint venture of the Colombian Fanalca group and the public transport operator Transdev, relying on the BYD buses.

Buses with a length of nine and twelve meters have again been ordered. The Chinese company has announced that it will be working with Superpolo, a Colombian bus manufacturer, on the new order.

The 120 buses include twelve- and nine-meter-long models with passenger capacities of 80 and 50, respectively. According to the Chinese manufacturer, the charging time is 1.5 to 2.5 hours, and the range is over 300 kilometres, which means that the required daily mileage of 260 kilometres can be easily achieved.

The fleet will be charged in a new depot in the Fontibon district, where 56 dual charging stations with a capacity of 150 kW are available. Codensa, a joint venture of the Italian Enel Group and the Bogota Energy Group, was responsible for constructing the depot, including chargers and the power supply. Three more depots with chargers are to follow in other districts to accommodate 483 electric buses delivered or ordered in the future. With 470, almost all are built by BYD.

Update 12 January 2021: Orders from Columbia are accumulating for BYD. The company just published the latest count and now has cumulative orders to supply 1,472 all-electric buses to Bogotá. That is the total of the 470 buses from the November 2019 order and a new order of 1,002 buses. The latter figure already includes the 406 vehicles reported above.

This is the largest e-bus order to date for BYD outside of China. The new e-buses are scheduled for delivery in 2021 and the first half of 2022 and will enter service on 34 routes covering five regions of Bogotá. According to BYD, the current tender was open to all powertrains, but their e-bus made the race.

As in other regions, BYD is again working with a local bus assembler. In Columbia, that is Superpolo. BYD says it will also work with local manufacturer BUSSCAR to produce the bodies for the 1,002 vehicles.

Additional reporting by Nora Manthey., (update 12 Jan)


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